Eye catching tattoos and other body marks or piercings can create little opportunities for employment in many fields. If one is aspiring to get better employment for a reputable company, one needs to be free of conspicuous tattoos because it creates a negative impression on the employer. Unless one exudes great personality even at the first meeting, an obvious tattoo might make the employer think of one as an irresponsible, happy-go-lucky type.
In Japan, tattoos are strongly linked to the Yakuza, especially the full body ones that are created in the traditional Japanese way, or Tebori, as they term it. Some public Japanese bathhouses, or sento as they are called, openly ban those people with conspicuous tattoos to prevent the Yakuza from going into the building.
In America, many convicts or those who have been to prison use unique tattoos to show facts about their criminal behavior, organizational affiliation and prison sentences. For example, a tattoo of a teardrop can mean murder, with each teardrop symbolizing the death of a friend. Members of the military also have distinctive tattoos of their own. Their tattoos can represent military units, skills, battles etc. Even if the tattoo industry is gaining popularity in this generation, it still remains to be associated with criminality. Tattoos still have the same heavy disgrace among some social groups.
However, the popularity of women in the tattoo industry, together with a huge number of women wearing tattoos, is changing this negative perception. Although women getting tattoos is giving a positive impact on the tattoo industry, studies also show that these women are also experiencing negative feelings toward their bodies, coupled with low self-esteem. Again this does not do any good to improve the impression that most conservative minds have regarding tattoos.
It will take time for the negative associations on tattoos to be cleared. For as long as there are still people using tattoos to show off their crimes or negative behaviors, the stigma that it has now will still remain. Those people having tattoos might still be branded as people of questionable character when in truth they just wanted to express themselves.